Penn State Football: Week 9 prediction, Big Ten picks ATS

Jesse Luketa #40 of the Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Jesse Luketa #40 of the Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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Ohio State Football
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields (Image via Getty images) /

Ohio State -20 vs Northwestern

It has been a whirlwind few weeks for Ohio State’s program, as their game against Michigan was canceled due to covid-19, then the conference deciding to waive a rule on number of games needing to be played for them to reach the conference championship game at all.

The rule gives the Buckeyes new life, but at 5-0 and sitting at No. 4 in the rankings, they have been the ire of public criticism as some think a 6-0 Ohio State team making the college football playoffs is unfair.

Regardless, Ohio State has a point to prove and may feel it needs some style points to make sure the selection committee keeps them in that top four. The Buckeyes have been a juggernaut when they have been on the field this year averaging over 45 points per game and really only played one close game with Indiana all year.

Ohio State’s lone weakness has been their secondary, as they rank last in the conference in yards allowed per game through the air. Northwestern is not a team exactly built to exploit that weakness, as the Wildcats average only 180 yards per game via the pass, and while senior transfer Peyton Ramsey has solidified the quarterback position, he is more of a game manager.

The Wildcats have eeked out close, low scoring games all season and their plus 0.6 turnover margin per game is a big reason for that. Quarterback Justin Fields won’t give it away, this one will turn into a party for the Buckeyes in the second half. Ohio State wins 37-13.

The Pick: Ohio State -20